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        Security Council
26 July 2001

Original: Arabic

Letter dated 26 July 2001 from the Permanent Representative of Lebanon
to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council

On instructions from my Government and on the occasion of the Security Council’s discussion of the elements of the draft resolution concerning the extension of the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), I have the honour to inform you of the following:

1. The Lebanese Government has persistently asserted the mission of UNIFIL which was defined by Security Council resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978), which specified that the purpose was to assist the Government of Lebanon to extend its authority over its territory, and considers that it would be unacceptable to change that mission to an observer mission since the mission of UNIFIL was adopted by Security Council resolution 425 (1978) with the consent of the Lebanese Government, and not merely in consultation with it, and that any change in the mission should be linked with that Government’s consent because the international force (UNIFIL) is deployed in Lebanese territory.

Accordingly, Lebanon considers that the request to the Secretary-General to put forward an idea for the reconfiguration of UNIFIL as merely an observer mission should be abandoned and regards that request as incompatible with the original mission to which the Lebanese Government consented at that time.

2. The Lebanese Government also affirms, on the basis of its sovereignty and its desire for stability, that it should extend its sovereignty over its territory by such methods as it considers appropriate, in view of the fact that the Lebanese authorities in southern Lebanon have their own legitimate forces and administrative organs which ensure the extension of their control over that area.

I should be grateful if you would have this letter circulated to all members of the Security Council as an official document.

(Signed) Sélim Tadmoury
Permanent Representative

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